For the first few years of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure in Ann Arbor, the fans and media were seemingly positive that he could not develop an elite college QB. The best quarterback to wear the Maize and Blue from 2015-2020 was arguably Jake Rudock, who spent one season in the winged helmet during Harbaugh’s first year with the program, helping lead his Wolverines to a 10-3 finish. Now, heading into a massive 2023 season, Michigan’s quarterback room continues to improve and should be the best we have ever seen throughout the Harbaugh era.
Michigan’s quarterback room is deep
Like last season (before McNamara got hurt), Michigan’s quarterback room is very deep this fall. The Wolverines recently added Jack Tuttle — a transfer quarterback from Indiana with a great deal of Big Ten experience — and according to the players (and the spring game), Tuttle is stepping up quite nicely. Additionally, Michigan has two more solid quarterbacks behind Tuttle, such as Davis Warren.
During the 2017 season, Michigan football tumbled and failed to find a rhythm during its disappointing 8-5 campaign once Wilton Speight got injured. Many coaches believe a team is only as good as its depth; if that is the case, the 2023 Michigan Wolverines are in great shape.
“I mean it’s almost like you run routes and you can’t even tell who’s throwing the ball because it’s all the same,” senior tight end Matthew Hibner said after the spring game. “You know, I trust all of these guys, you know, if any of those guys are in the game, I believe 100% they’re going to play to a high level.”
JJ McCarthy: Bigger, faster, and stronger
Last season, JJ McCarthy played well, but was not turning heads nationally until the very end. When Michigan football was forced to throw the ball more — as it did against Purdue and Ohio State — McCarthy appeared to come out of his shell and help lead his team to two massive victories.
Despite the College Football Playoff loss to TCU, Michigan football still saw some solid play from its sophomore quarterback; in 2023, the Wolverines will need JJ McCarthy to take the next step in his development. According to many spring ball reports (and JJ McCarthy himself), the rising junior quarterback is more significant, faster, and stronger than ever. In fact, McCarthy has been turning heads wherever he has gone, including Michigan’s pro day earlier this year.
“He’s just playing on time, playing in rhythm, taking what’s given to him, not forcing things, and just being surgical,” Davis Warren said about Michigan football rising junior quarterback JJ McCarthy. “That’s the best way to describe it, just like, knows where he’s going with the football, super decisive with it.
If McCarthy continues to develop and can keep making safe and smart plays with the football, the Wolverines will get some elite action from under center this fall.
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